Joe Biden said that his vice president needs to be capable of being president because he is so old.
“I can think of at least eight women, at least four or five people of color, that I think are totally qualified to be vice president of the United States,” the former vice president, 77, said at a campaign event in Clinton, Iowa on Tuesday.
“But for me, it has to be demonstrated that whoever I pick is two things: One, is capable of [being] president because I’m an old guy,” Biden said as some in the crowd laughed. “No, I’m serious. Look, I thank God I’m in great health. I work out. No, I’m serious. You know, I work out every morning. I’m in good shape knock on wood, as my mother would say.”
“I released all my medical records,” Biden added. “But you never know. You never know what’s going on. And I’m sure what would happen is I have some people looking would say, ‘Is the person Biden picked capable of, God forbid something happened to Biden, that they would be able to take over immediately?”
The remark came after a man in the crowd asked if Biden’s former primary rival Sen. Kamala Harris from California was his top vice presidential pick.
“I think Kamala Harris has the capacity to do just about anything, along with a lot of other people. I think she is bright as can be. She can do anything from the court to being attorney general to being vice president to being a cabinet member to staying in the Senate,” Biden said.
Biden said that he would consider her as his vice presidential pick the day after Harris dropped out of the presidential race in December.
The former vice president, if elected to the presidency, would be the oldest president ever. President Ronald Reagan, the current record-holder, was 77 when he left office in 1989. Recent heart attack survivor Sen. Bernie Sanders, 78, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 77, could each also be the oldest president ever elected.
Biden’s health records released in December revealed that he has a heart condition. He is being treated for an irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, acid reflux, and seasonal allergies.
Earlier on Tuesday, Biden suggested that former First Lady Michelle Obama would be a good vice president.
“Would you consider appointing Obama for the Supreme Court?” a man in Muscatine, Iowa, asked Biden.
“Yeah, I would, and I don’t think he’d do it. He’d be a great Supreme Court justice,” he responded.
“Second question is: Which Obama?” the man said.
“Well, I sure would like Michelle to be the vice president,” Biden said and laughed. “They’re both incredibly qualified people, I mean, and they’re such decent, honorable people.”
Biden often says that it would be “presumptuous” of him to consider a vice presidential pick before he is the nominee and rarely rules out any possible contenders.